Overcoming difficult circumstances, as a parent and as a person

Happy Wednesday!

FYI: Links to each part of the in-depth, 4-part newsletter series I recently did can be found just below my signature. (Feedback was that many of you found that series super helpful and so I want it to be available all through the start to this school year!)

Today, I want to talk about what constitutes difficult circumstances, and what we can do about it when we encounter such circumstances ourselves.

The dirty little secret of difficult circumstances is:

Everybody’s got ’em.

We all have circumstances that attempt to drag us down:

  • Toxic people in our lives
  • The refrigerator or car crapping out on us
  • The funny-looking mole on our shoulder
  • Our kids wanting us and NOBODY else (or vice versa).

We can feel strangled, or buried alive.

Last week, when Jessica Lahey and KJ Dell’Antonia brought me onto their show in episode 174 of #AmWriting with Jess and KJ, I shared that one particular difficult circumstance I live with can make me feel as if I’m “drowning.”

It’s that, due to a tendon disorder I have lived with for more than eight years, I cannot type, swipe, tap, pinch, or scroll for very long on a tablet, phone, or computer, because my hands do not work like other people’s hands.

So, I use speech recognition software to do all those things (as well as dictate so I can write books, create show notes and other stuff at weturnedoutokay.com, even write this newsletter.)

And when the speech recognition software doesn’t work – for example if it crashes, or doesn’t recognize my words, or does some random computery thing as our devices often do – I used to panic, and feel like I was drowning, because suddenly I had no way of communicating.

If I can’t do it by voice, simply can’t do it. So it is scary when something technical goes wrong!

Those are the difficult circumstances that I live in.

Gradually, I have learned how to (in Jess’s words) “speak a different language.” I learned the commands that my speech recognition software needs to hear, so it can accomplish the tasks I need done.

I learned to cope when my speech recognition software didn’t work as I expected, or broke down.

And despite the fact that I can’t do probably 60% of what you can do with your hands, I have a pretty great life!

I’ve found a way to create useful stuff, that gives other humans hope and help, and that makes me SO happy.

What are your difficult circumstances?

Do they have to do with your work life? Your home life, your parenting, your child?

Whatever they are, don’t let the difficult circumstances stop you from truly enjoying your life.

Jess and KJ gave me the opportunity to share how I overcome those difficult circumstances, and here’s the most important way:

Try again tomorrow.

Even if today has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day (as Alexander says in the children’s book by that name), we can always start fresh tomorrow.

This involves forgiving ourselves for not accomplishing everything we wanted to today.

Perhaps, for not being the parent we wish we’d been today.

Which is not easy.

But if we can give ourselves this small break, there is no limit to what we can achieve, not just in our work, but in our relationships.

What are your difficult circumstances, and how are you overcoming them?
I’d love it if you would hit reply and share!

BTW, I’d like to share how grateful I am to Jess and KJ for having me on their show! It’s a great show and if you are interested in writing and/or the creative process, I highly recommend it.
They have both been on We Turned Out Okay, because they have some super helpful ideas about raising kids.
Listen to Jess here, and KJ here : )

Keep reading below for What’s up on the podcast/In the Facebook group…​​​​​​​

Wishing you a wonderful parenting week!

Links to each part of my in-depth, 4-part series on how to start the school year off right:
Click here for part one, about the first thing you can do when confronting any challenge;

click here for part two, where I share my method for cutting through overwhelm.
And click here for part three, a case study of one mom who made back-to-school weekday mornings work – even when dealing with her child’s NIGHTLY bedwetting.
Finally click here for part four, which includes the link to a tool that I use all year round – as do many ninja parents in our private coaching community – to schedule our days and weeks.

What’s up on the podcast this week:
Are you, as a parent, coming to view American healthcare as a soul-sucking showstopper of happiness?
Don’t despair. Today’s guest, Dan Weissman, has some great ideas and advice!
He’s the host of the Arm and a Leg podcast, all about the high cost of healthcare and what Americans are doing about it, and I’m so grateful to Dan for stopping by!
Listen by going to:

What’s up in the We Turned Out Okay Facebook group this week:
Magic Words for Parents is off until Monday, September 10, as I wrap up my book and get some family downtime.
Click here to join the Facebook group, because I am still popping in there and would love to say hi!

PS – If you’re enjoying this Weekly Parenting Newsletter, click here so you can sign up to receive it in your inbox, or forward it to a friend who needs a parenting boost today.